If habitable planets can form inside globular clusters, they would make nice homes for advanced civilisations that talk to each other and travel between the stars.
Carpenter ants live in a caste system, where some members of the colony grow into large, strong worker guards known as majors and others grow into small, inquisitive food scouts known as minors. Scientists have long been fascinated by how majors and minors come to be. Though the two castes share the exact same genomes (and parents), they look and behave in dramatically different ways. Clearly, these differences must be epigenetic, or triggered by environmental factors that take hold after the ants are born.
“How long can you stay awake?” is a question you probably don’t want to try to answer at home. But in 1964, a high schooler broke that record for science. Randy Gardner stayed awake for 264.4 hours (just a bit more than 11 days) for a science fair, and had his experiment observed by Dr. William Dement, a Stanford sleep researcher. The symptoms they found were fairly predictable—irritability, poor motor control, lack of focus, short term memory loss—but the symptoms only tell half the story.
For the first time, scientists have directly controlled brain cells using sound waves, in a tiny laboratory worm.
They used ultrasound to trigger activity in specific neurons, causing the worms to change direction.
As well as requiring a particular gene to be expressed in the brain cells, the technique bathes the animals in tiny bubbles to amplify the sound waves. These complications temper the technique's promise for controlling brain activity in a non-invasive way.
It’s official: the universe is weird. Our everyday experience tells us that distant objects cannot influence each other, and don’t disappear just because no one is looking at them. Even Albert Einstein was dead against such ideas because they clashed so badly with our views of the real world.